Last year around this time the entire world faced a complete shutdown as the coronavirus entered. This year has been very different, due to the outbreak from last year’s COVID-19 virus and most of the states around the country were able to play high school basketball with a limited capacity of fans. The 2021 McDonald’s All American game was cancelled for the second straight season and the 2021 class will not be playing in any national all star type events. Below we take a look at which prospects in the class are potential one-and-dones and could be headed to the NBA Draft much earlier than others.
F Paolo Banchero (Duke) – Paolo Banchero should be the next Seattle, Washington native to make the NBA after next year’s NBA Draft. Arguably the number one overall prospect in the 2021 class, Banchero has developed tremendously over the last few years. He is a 6-foot-10 highly versatile and skilled forward who should make his impact immediately in Durham next season for Coach K and staff. Paolo holds an elite face up game, can score from out the post, knock down shots from the third and second levels, and make his impact on the defensive end as well guarding multiple positions. NBA Scouts and GM’s are going to be all over the physical forward who already has a college ready body. The Duke Blue Devils are receiving a potential future lottery pick for that 2022 NBA Draft.
F Jabari Smith Jr. (Auburn) – NBA scouts and front office personnel have been all over the 6-foot-10 plus forward Jabari Smith Jr. for a couple of years now. Jabari Smith’s father, Jabari Smith Sr., played in the NBA for a few years and overseas as a professional. Smith Jr. will certainly follow the footsteps of his father and has been considered a future lottery pick coming out of Auburn in the 2022 NBA Draft. Jabari is an elite skilled four man who is the definition of a “stretch-four”. At his size, he is able to score from all levels of the floor, can handle the ball like a guard, an elite shot blocker, holds a very nice shooting stroke with a nice release, and just runs the floor so well. Bruce Pearl is receiving on what could be his second future lottery pick over the last three years, Isaac Okoro was recently taken 5th to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2020 NBA Draft.
2021 SG Jaden Hardy (unsigned) – The nation’s top overall scorer, Jaden Hardy, is already NBA ready and could be a top-5 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Hardy, who has not made his decision on whether to attend college for a season or play in the G-League, has all the scoring tools and attributes in his game already and that higher level scouts are calling next level. He is a 6-foot-4 plus two-guard who is just wired to score the basketball. Jaden is an elite shot maker, has unlimited range from three, capable of knocking down multiple shots of the bounce, a microwave type scorer, and has the size and strength to also finish through contact. Despite not playing much his senior season due to COVID-19 protocols in Nevada, Hardy is still a major prospect in the 2021 class and arguably the number one player coming out of the 2021 class.
2021 F Chet Holmgren (unsigned) – The 7-foot-1 forward Chet Holmgren has already been considered the potential number one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Holmgren is a special unique 7-footer that we are not used to seeing, especially at the high school level. He is the definition of a unicorn and has drawn comparisons to a Kristap Porzingis. Chet can handle the ball like a guard, can hit perimeter jump shots, can be a “point forward”, a solid playmaker, and just an elite defensive shot blocker. Holmgren’s shot blocking is probably his best attribute right now. With his size, wingspan, and length, he is able to block multiple shots or at least alternate shots from his opponents. Chet has yet to sign with a college program for next season but wherever he goes he should make an immediate impact on both ends of the floor.
2021 PG Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee) – Kennedy Chandler should be in control of the offense next season in Knoxville for Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes. Chandler is a 6-foot-1 point guard who will be coming out of this class as the number one ranked point guard. NBA personnel will be keeping their eyes on the highly rated point guard all season next year. A potential one-and-done? Possibly. Kennedy holds elite speed, an excellent passer, quick defensive instincts, has improved his three point shooting, and sneaky athleticism for his size. He is an elite floor general with great change of speed and a very consistent finisher at the rim. Kennedy will have to continue his consistent perimeter shooting as he moves on to the next level. Could be one of the top point guards in college basketball next season as a freshman.
2021 F Kendall Brown (Baylor) – Scott Drew is receiving an athletic 6-foot-7 forward in Kendall Brown next season in Waco. A potential one-and-done prospect that NBA general managers and scouts should keep their eye on while he is at Baylor. Brown is an above the rim playmaking forward with elite high level athleticism, an active defender who will disrupt passing lanes, impressive length, a nice on-ball defender, scores off cuts, and a capable consistent outside shot maker. The 6-foot-7 forward should impress with his high motor on both ends of the floor and could be an elite roll player somewhere on the NBA level. He will definitely have to be more consistent from the perimeter but Kendall Brown could be considered a 3-and-D type of player on the next level.
2021 PG Nolan Hickamn (Kentucky) – Like his former AAU teammate, Paolo Banchero (Duke), Nolan Hickman shows high praise as a potential one-and-done prospect. Hickman will be headed to Lexington to play for Coach Cal and the Kentucky Wildcats next fall, winter. Nolan is a 6-foot-3 point guard who holds an elite balance of scoring the ball and getting his teammates involved in the offense. He is super impactful on both ends of the floor and could literally do it all as a point guard. Hickman is an effective rebounder, can score from all levels of the floor, nice range from three, able to weave his way inside the defense, is a solid defender, and capable of hitting shots of the bounce. NBA scouts are going to be very intrigued in Nolan Hickman and could potentially be one of Kentucky’s one-and-done prospects on next year’s roster.
Other Potential One-And-Done Prospects:
F Pat Baldwin (unsigned)
F Mike Foster Jr. (unsigned)
F Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
F Peyton Watson (UCLA)
F Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
C Damion Collins (Kentucky)
G TyTy Washington (unsigned)